Saturday, June 19, 2021, at McLane Stadium, Michigan State University

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett players and coaches pose with their MHSAA Division 3 baseball championship trophy on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett

Head coach: Dan Cimini 
Assistant coaches:
Steve Kathan, Joe Loria, Connor McCarron

Players: Seniors: Michael Clark, Donovan Flournoy, Tarun Jarial, Alec Leonard, Vincent Maribao; Juniors: Kurt Barr, Matthew Greene, Matthew Belcrest; Sophomores: Jack Jones, Ryan Jones, Ryan Knaebel, Jake Martin, Jarren Purify, Joseph Randazzo, Oliver Service; Freshmen: Preston Barr, Reginald Sharpe

Posted Saturday, June 19, 2021

   No. 2-ranked Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett  won its sixth Michigan High School Athletic Association baseball championship, its first since 2016, dominating Traverse City St. Francis 12-0 in five innings to earn the Division 3 title on Saturday, June 19, at Michigan State University's McLane Stadium.

   Pitching at his future home stadium, Michigan State University commit Jack Jones (sophomore) earned the shutout on the mound, striking out six and allowing only three hits for Liggett.

   The Liggett offense pounded out 11 hits in the victory. The Knights had three big innings, scoring three times in the second, five in the fourth and four in the fifth to secure the mercy victory.

   In the top of the second, sophomore Oliver Service singled and sophomore Ryan Jones walked. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a two-run single by Jack Jones. Freshman Reginald Sharpe laid a sacrifice bunt down the first-base line scoring Jack Jones to make it 3-0.

    With one out in the top of the fourth, play was stopped because of rain. And after a 55-minute delay, Liggett added five more runs, sending nine players to the plate.

   Junior Kurt Barr walked with one out and Jack Jones reached on a

fielder's choice. Barr advanced to second on an error by the St. Francis shortstop. Freshman Preston Barr singled to center field to score Kurt Barr, and advanced to second on the throw. Jack Jones advanced to third.

Sharpe then singled to drive in Jack Jones. Preston Barr advanced to third on another infield error. Sharpe advanced to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore Jarren Purify singled up the middle to score Preston Barr.  Sharpe advanced to third. Sophomore Joseph Randazzo walked, advancing Purify to second. Junior Matthew Greene doubled down the left field line to bring in Purify and Sharpe.

    The onslaught continued in the fifth as Sharpe singled in Kurt Barr, followed by a bases-loaded triple by Greene to make it a 12-0 advantage as Randazzo, Sharpe, and Preston Barr scored.

    “The guys hit the baseball, they put the pressure on them and that pressure mixed in with our big hits and obviously Jack Jones throwing a great game is a recipe for a championship and we got it today,” longtime Liggett head coach Cimini told reporters.

   Liggett showcases 10 players who played in the Little League World

 

Series in Williamsport, Penn., in 2017 and 2018.

    Liggett (31-5) downed No. 1-ranked Buchanan 2-0 on Thursday, June 17, in the semifinals. St. Francis beat No. 5-ranked Richmond 5-4 in its semifinal on Thursday.

   Liggett beat Riverview Gabriel Richard 6-1 in the quarterfinals on Saturday, June 12, and won a regional championship over No. 6-ranked Blissfield 2-0, earlier in the day.

   Liggett downed Detroit Cristo Rey 18-0 in three innings in the regional semifinal on June 9 and beat No. 3-ranked Detroit Edison Public School Academy Early College of Excellence 11-1 in five innings in the district championship.

   The Knights outscored playoff opponents 51-2.

   Liggett’s only losses this spring: Two each to Division 1's Grosse Pointe North and Division 2 champion Orchard Lake St. Mary's Preparatory, and one to Division 1's Warren De La Salle Collegiate.

   Liggett was the Division 3 runner-up in 2019, falling to Homer 4-0. The 2020 season was cancelled due to the pandemic. Liggett won the Division 3 championship in 2016 and 2014 and the Division 4 title in 2013 and 2011, all under Cimini. Liggett also won the Class D championship in 1979 under head coach Joe Haklin.

 

OTHER MEDIA COVERAGE

> Liggett rolls in D3, Grand Blanc upsets Portage Central

> Jones, Greene help Grosse Pointe Liggett dominate St. Francis

> Liggett Caps Title Run with Big Hits, Near-Perfect Pitching

> All grown up: University Liggett baseball goes from Little League World Series to D3 state champs

> TC St. Francis finishes as state runner-up, falls 12-0 to Liggett in finals

 

Photos: StudentandAthlete

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett players and coaches on the field during the National Anthem before facing Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

 

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett players "read" newspapers before facing Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett sophomore Kurt Barr (12) on the mound in the rain against Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett sophomore Oliver Service (13) celebrates after scoring a run against Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett junior Matthew Greene (5) blasts a triple against Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett freshman Reginald Sharpe(9) celebrates with freshman Preston Barr (23) after scoring  against Traverse City St. Francis.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett players celebrate after scoring runs against Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett freshman Preston Barr (23) prepares to throw out a Traverse City St. Francis runner on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett junior Kurt Burr (16) gets a hit against Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett sophomore Ryan Knaebel (3) gets congratulated after scoring a run against Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett sophomore Jarren Purify (6) gets a hit against Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett sophomore Joseph Randazzo (7) smiles after getting a walk against Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett sophomore Jack Jones (24) fields a ball against Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett senior Alec Leonard (25) fields a ball against Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett players celebrate after beating Traverse City St. Francis on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett head coach Dan Cimini hoists the MHSAA Division 3 baseball championship trophy on Saturday.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett players celebrate with their MHSAA Division 3 baseball championship trophy on Saturday.